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10 October 1941: Malta Bomb Disposal Officer Killed

10 Oct

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Lt E E C Talbot, GC, RE

Lt E E C Talbot, GC, RE

BOMB DISPOSAL OFFICER WAS ABOARD MISSING BOMBER

Malta’s first Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Officer has been reported missing, presumed killed. According to reports, he was aboard one of two Blenheim aircraft which failed to return from an attack on enemy shipping off the south coast of Italy last night. 

The missing Blenheim pilots have been named as Wing Commander C F A Harte and Flying Officer Whitford-Walders, both of 107 Squadron. Two other Blenheims involved in the mission returned safely to Luqa.  Early today, the RAF in Malta picked up Italian radio reports stating that two aircraft collided over the coast near Cape Spartivento with no survivors.

Lt Edward Talbot GC, MBE arrived last November to assume command of the Island’s Bomb Disposal Section. He has been on respite leave from bomb disposal duties since early May.  According to the current serving RE Bomb Disposal Officer, Lt George Carroll, his friend Lt Talbot had for some weeks been working with the RAF, collecting the reports from pilots on their return from operational missions. (1)

BRITISH PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN

The following communications have been approved today by the British Underground Propaganda Committee for transmission via rumour networks, in a bid to undermine morale among Axis troops and civilians:

Italy for general Mediterranean distribution

  • A ship with 500 Italian soldiers on board sailed into Malta and surrendered. They have mutinied and killed their officers.
  • During the last ten days seven [Axis] supply ships have put into Malta and surrendered. The British show special signal lights for deserters, who are given the choice of going to India or England. (2)

AIR RAIDS DAWN 10 OCTOBER TO DAWN 11 OCTOBER 1941

Weather  Cooler with some rain.

1033-1052 hrs  Air raid alert for two formations of six enemy fighters which cross the Island. 13 Hurricane fighters are scrambled but there are no engagements.  Heavy anti-aircraft guns engage; no claims.

OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 10 OCTOBER 1941

AIR HQ  Departures 2 Blenheim. 38 Squadron 6 Wellingtons attacked convoy. 69 Squadron 2 Marylands on special patrol.  1 Maryland on convoy search.  Photoreconnaissance of Tripoli. 107 Squadron 2 Blenheims searched for missing Blenheim crews. 221 Squadron 2 Wellingtons searched for convoy. 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 7 Swordfish carried out two attacks on a convoy of 3 merchant ships, 1 tanker and 5 destroyers.  The first lasted from 2208 to 2230 hrs during which the 3 merchant vessels were damaged, 2 seriously.  The Swordfish returned to base and refuelled, then attacked the convoy again at 0440 hrs, at the end of which two merchant ships were sunk.

ARMY HQ  Air Officer Commanding Vice Marshal Lloyd gave a lecture at the Marsa Club on the activities of the RAF in Malta, attended by officers and NCOs.

(1) UXB Malta, S A M Hudson, History Press 2010/2012

(2) Whispers of War: Underground Propaganda Rumour-Mongering in the Second World War, Lee Richards, 2010

 

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1 Comment

Posted by on October 10, 2016 in 1941, October 1941

 

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One response to “10 October 1941: Malta Bomb Disposal Officer Killed

  1. HONEST GUV

    October 10, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Another extraordinary man and may he Rest in Peace.
    100411Second Lieutenant
    Ellis Edward Arthur Chetwynd Talbot
    103 Bomb Disposal Section
    Royal Engineers
    George Cross
    Member of the British Empire.1939-45 Star, Africa Star,
    War Medal 1939-45
    22nd March 1920 to 9th October 1941.
    Placed in the London Gazette on the 17th September 1940.2nd Lt Talbot on the 24th and 25th of August 1940 was present for the whole period, when a bomb was dug down to, the recovery of this took twelve and a half hours.On reaching the bomb, it was brought to the surface and Talbot investigated and found it was of a delayed action type. He ordered his men to safety.The bomb was found to be of a new type and Talbot decided to move it to a place were it would cause no damage if it exploded. He kept his men at a safe distance and placing the bomb upon his shoulder carried it 200 yards to a safe spot. At all times there was a risk of the bomb exploding. Lt Talbot set a fine example of courage and devotion to duty.2nd Lieutenant Talbot’s citation reads; The King has been graciously pleased to award the Medal of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. This was later exchanged for the George Cross.Lt Talbot was killed on the 9th September 1941 near Sicily, whist a passenger on a RAF Blenheim, on a bombing raid.
    http://www.royalengineersbombdisposal-eod.org.uk/george_cross.html

     

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